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Promoting Good Governance.

Osun Decides 2018: Twitter analysis reveals campaign behaviours of leading candidates

TWITTER is one of the best social media platforms for conveying political messages in bite-size pieces to the electorate with decreasing attention span. 

The use of Twitter in politics has seriously changed the way campaigns are run; moreover, it has changed how politicians interact with their followers and community.

The power of Twitter is huge in regards to campaign messages going viral. Most politicians know the importance of being on Twitter. But being on Twitter is not enough. They choose different strategies in order to create their image on social media and achieve their goals.

The ICIR has  considered the five leading candidates to include Fatai Akinbade , Moshood Adeoti , Adegboyega Oyetola , Ademola Adeleke  and Iyiola Omisore. In this regard, their Twitter activities have been analysed in the core areas of economy, education, heath, and youth inclusion.

The overall review of each candidates’ Twitter handle shows that the candidates are inactive on Twitter.

FATAI AKINBADE – AFRICAN DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (ADC)

The candidate of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC), Fatai Akinbade is not popular on Twitter. His followers are just 450 since joining the platform on December 18, 2009.

Since joining Twitter, Akinbade has only tweeted 395 times, an average of just about 0.12 tweet per day. 128 of the tweets were retweeted, representing 32.41 per cent of his total tweets, 45 tweets favourited, representing 11.39 per cent, while just 8.35 per cent represents the number of tweets that got replies.

Considering the thematic areas under review, of the 395 total tweets since joining Twitter, Akinbade has only tweeted issues relating to the economy just nine times; health, once; education, ten times; and youth inclusion, three times.

The tweet that earned him the highest number of retweet was when he debunked the news about his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

“My purported defection to PDP is not only laughable but mischievous, PDP should use Omisore and Jelili’s name not Akinbade #OsunDecides”

Most tweets by Akinbade contain the statement about campaign towards the Osun election and not on specific issues relating to health or economy.

IYIOLA OMISORE – SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (SDP)

 Senator Iyiola Omisore joined Twitter on October 16, 2016. He has a total number of 3,746 followers.

Since joining Twitter, Omisore has only tweeted 270 times, an average of about 8.03 tweets per day. Only 69 tweets were retweeted, representing 26.85 per cent of his total tweets, 82 tweets were favourited, representing 31.91 per cent, while none of his tweets got replies.

Considering the thematic areas under review, of the 270 total tweets since joining Twitter, Omisore has only tweeted issues relating to the economy just 12 times; health, two times; education, 11 times; and youth inclusion, eleven times.

The top retweeted tweet had ten retweets. The tweet said: “Zoning of elective post is lazy and myopic #OsunDebate #OsunDecides2018 #omisoreonchannelstv #omisorelawal2018 #restoration2018 #OmisoreForGov #SDPprogress #VoteForIyiYemi #VoteSDP @OlayemiHon”

As most of the tweets for Akinbade were not on specifics  issues around the socio-economic welfare of the people of Osun state, so are the tweets of Omisore.

MOSHOOD ADEOTI- ACTION DEMOCRATIC PARTY (ADP)

Alhaji Moshood Adeoti joined Twitter on April 28, 2018. He is the candidate with the lowest number of followers on Twitter. The number of people he follows is higher compared to the number of people who follow him. He has a followership count of 110 people while he follows 332 people.

Since he joined Twitter, Adeoti has made only 53 tweets, the lowest compared to other candidates. Averagely, Adeoti makes 0.37 tweets per day. Of the 53 tweets, 21 tweets were retweeted, representing 39.62 per cent, 29 tweets were favourited, representing 54.7 per cent. In addition, none of his tweets got replies.

Considering the thematic areas under review, of the 53 total tweets since joining Twitter, Adeoti has only tweeted issues relating to the economy just five times; health, two times; education, three times; and youth inclusion, once.

The top retweeted tweet had seven retweets. The tweet was made for the flag off the rally of his party, ADP.

“Official Action Democratic Party flag off rally, Ilesha. #OsunDecides2018”

ADEGBOYEGA OYETOLA – ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC)

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola joined Twitter on July 18, 2018, two days before the APC governorship primary election. In the space of two months, Adegoyega’s followers rose to 410. So far, he has made only 82 tweets since joining Twitter. Averagely, Oyetola publishes 1.36 tweets per day. 39 tweets were retweeted, representing 44.83 percent of the total tweets, while 41 tweets which represented 47.13 per cent got favourited.

In all the 82 tweets made by Oyetola in the last two months, he has talked only on education just once, one tweet on health, eight tweets on the economy of the state. Youth inclusiveness seem to be the focus of Oyetola’s campaign. He has more tweets on youth inclusion compared to other issues under review. He has made ten tweets on youth inclusion.

The tweet that earned him the highest number of retweets was about youth inclusion. This indicates that his campaign tends to address issues relating to youth in the state.

“#AskGboyegaOyetola is an interactive session with the Youth of Osun. Let’s go beyond party boundaries. I want to meet with students, artisans, young business people etc. Enyi guys e wa ka soro.. Let’s Talk!”

ADEMOLA ADELEKE – PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP)

Senator Ademola Adeleke has an inherited Twitter account. The Twitter account originally belongs to his late brother, Senator Isiaka Adeleke who died in April, 2017. The Twitter account currently has a more than twenty-one thousand followers.

For the purpose of this analysis, The ICIR extracted tweets that were posted from July 12, 2017, when he took the oath office to replace his brother. Prior to the time, Senator Adeleke did not have a Twitter account.

From the total 1,248 tweets posted between when he became a senator and now, 1,222 tweets (97.9 per cent) were retweets he made from the Nigerian Senate Twitter handle, @NGRSenate.

Considering the thematic areas under review, Adeleke has only tweeted issues relating to the economy, just once; health, once; education, three times; and no single tweet on youth inclusion even while inviting  the popular young musician, David Adeleke, also known as Davido at most of his campaigns.

CONCLUSION: This analysis has shown that social media applications, most especially Twitter has not been widely incorporated in the publicity and public relations by the major candidates for the Osun State governorship election.

These politicians still rely heavily on traditional media (television, radio, newspapers, magazines etc) for most of their interactions with their party members, their followers, and the public.

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